Who is Erin Gray?
American actress and model Erin Gray was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on 7 January 1950, under the zodiac sign of Capricorn. She’s appeared in nearly 90 movies and TV series, and is probably still best known for her debut film appearance, portraying the lead character Colonel Wilma Deering in the 1979 action science fiction adventure movie “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century”, directed by Daniel Haller, and which also starred Gil Gerard and Pamela Hensley. It follows an astronaut who was put in suspended animation in the 20th century, and has awoken in the 25th century; the film won one of its three award nominations.
She’s today still quite active in the movie industry, and is currently shooting for the upcoming science fiction film “In-World War”.
Early life and education
Daniel Gray and Diane raised their daughter Erin in Honolulu as an only child; her parents divorced when Erin was eight, and she then spent a couple of years living with her grandfather in Palm Springs. After her mother was offered a job in Larkspur, California, Erin moved there with her.
She studied at Redwood High School, and was 14 when she launched her modelling career, entering and winning a modelling assignment; Erin was then invited to shoot for many commercials in Los Angeles, California. She eventually transferred to Pacific Palisades High School in Los Angeles, and matriculated in 1968.
Erin continued her education at the University of California, Los Angeles wanting to study math, however, she dropped out after less than a year, and moved to New York City to pursue modelling. By the time she turned 25, Erin was amongst the highest paid models in the US.
Roles in TV series
Erin’s debut TV series appearance was in the 1976 episode “The Game Show” of the comedy “Maude”, and the remainder of the ‘70s saw her appear in an episode of a couple of series, such as the drama “Evening in Byzantium”, the mystery crime drama “The Rockford Files”, and the adventure comedy “B. J. and the Bear”.
Between 1982 and 1987, she starred as Kate Summers Stratton in over 100 episodes of the critically acclaimed family comedy “Silver Spoons”, created by Martin Cohan and David W. Duclon, and which also starred Ricky Schroder and Joel Higgins. It follows the life of a spoiled boy whose parents are immensely rich; the series won four of its 16 award nominations. The ’80s also saw Erin appear in the science fiction “Starman”, the mystery crime drama “Murder, She Wrote” and the mystery horror drama “The Hitchhiker”.
What marked the ‘90s for her was perhaps her portrayal of Nicole Devlin in the romantic fantasy drama “Port Charles”, created by Carolyn and Richard Culliton, and which starred Julie Pinson, Jon Lindstrom and Lynn Herring. The series follows the lives of people working at Port Charles’ General Hospital, aired from 1997 to 2003, and won seven of its 60 award nominations.
Erin had only a single TV series role in the 2000s, playing Candy Heller in the 2007 episode “Wedding from Hell” of the comedy “The Wedding Bells”.
Most recently, in 2019, she portrayed Captain Beth Grant in the episode “It Ain’t Me Babe” of the science fiction action “Pandora”; Mark A. Altman wrote the popular series, and it starred Ben Radcliffe, Oliver Dench and Priscilla Quintana. It follows a woman in the year 2199 who’s enrolled at a Space Training Academy, and the series was nominated for a 2021 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films Award.
Roles in movies
Erin played Beautiful Woman in the popular 1979 mystery comedy drama “Winter Kills”, written and directed by William Richert, and which starred Jeff Bridges, Anthony Perkins and John Huston. It follows the life of the brother of a murdered US President.
A couple of Erin’s following roles were in the 1979 action “The Ultimate Impostor”, the 1980 drama “Coach of the Year”, and the 1982 sports comedy drama “Six Pack”.
What was perhaps her most notable performance in the ‘80s was her portrayal of Captain Terry O’Malley in the 1988 crime drama “Perry Mason: The Case of the Avenging Ace”, directed by Christian I. Nyby II, and which starred Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale and William Katt. It follows Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Parks who’s been wrongfully convicted of murder, and the movie was nominated for two awards.
Erin played Julie Lawrence in the 1990 drama “Laker Girls”, Diana Kimble in the 1993 fantasy horror thriller “Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday”, and Mayor Pendleton in the 1994 action science fiction “T-Force”.
In 2006, she portrayed the lead character Sharon Cox in the musical comedy drama “Siren”, written and directed by Pat Kerby, and which also starred Michele Fiore-Kaime and Gary Graham. It follows an overweight wife and mother who’s dreaming of becoming a rock ‘n’ roll star.
Erin’s three most recent film roles have been in the 2018 romantic comedy drama “My Christmas Inn”, and in 2019 the drama “Finding Grace” and the romantic comedy “A Christmas Princess”.
Erin sang two songs in two episodes of the 1983 series “Silver Spoons”.
She received special thanks for the 2012 episode “The Full Hemsworth” of the comedy show “unCONventional”.
Erin could’ve been seen featured in many documentaries, including the 2013 video “Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th”, the 2019 series “From the Mouths of Babes” and the 2020 short video “Star Gaze with Erin Gray”.
She worked as a production assistant on the 2008 mystery movie “Portrait in Sepia Tone”, and is currently producing the upcoming movie “One Hand Clapping”.
Erin’s made a guest appearance in the talk-shows “Today”, “Table Top” and “Inglorious Treksperts”, amongst many others.
Awards and nominations
Erin’s won two awards: a 2002 San Diego Film Festival Entertainer Award, and a 2012 Monaco International Film Festival Angel Award for Best Actress, for her performance in “Dreams Awake”. She was also nominated for a 1979 The Stinkers Bad Movie Award for Worst Actress, for her performance in “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century”.
Husbands and children
Erin married her first husband, American real estate executive Ken Schwartz in 1968, when she was only 18; the two met while they were attending the same high school, and Erin gave birth to their son Kevan Ray Schwartz in 1976, but she and Ken divorced in 1990.
Since 1991, Erin’s been married to non-celebrity American Richard Hissong, and gave birth to their daughter Samantha on 21 December 1991. Samantha’s also a bit of an actress, having played Maddy in an episode of the internet video series “Buck Rogers”, while she was also featured in the 2012 documentary series “From the Mouths of Babes”.
Erin hasn’t disclosed if she had dated any men between her two marriages, she’s married to her second husband Richard Hissong as of September 2022, and has a daughter with him, while she also has a son with her first husband Ken Schwartz.
Hobbies and interesting facts
Erin’s been passionate about ancient arts since her early 20s, and she’s today teaching both Qi Gong and Tai Chi at the University of California, Los Angeles.
She was invited to star in the 1969 romantic comedy movie “Goodbye, Columbus”, which went on to become a hit, but Erin rejected the offer because she felt that it was wrong to perform sex scenes while her then-husband Ken was fighting in Vietnam.
She’s active on Instagram, and has posted over 350 pictures and videos onto her account, while she’s today followed by nearly 20,000 people.
Erin’s been to nearly all of the US states, for both work and pleasure, and has also vacationed in a couple of European and Asian countries; her favorite city to travel to is Paris, France.
Her favorite actresses are Julia Roberts and Cate Blanchett, while her favorite movies include “Elizabeth”, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”, and “Notes on a Scandal”.
Height, eyes and net worth
Erin’s aged 72. Her hair’s brown and eyes are blue, her height’s 5ft 7ins (1.71m) and her weight is 139lbs (63kgs).
Erin’s net worth’s been estimated at over $5 million as of September 2022.